Questioning Paul

Volume 1: The Great Galatians Debate

…Is Christianity Right or Wrong?

Chapter 9

part 1

Douleia – Bondage

Christianity: Bound to Paul…

Sha’uwl’s next statement presents Yah’s Towrah as public enemy number one. This extraordinarily strange man is within four verses of his crescendo—the ultimate objective of his life’s work. We are on the cusp of witnessing the most vulgar message ever spoken in the name of God.

But before we consider Paul’s crowning, albeit indicting, achievement, since it is based upon the myth that there are two covenants, with the second one having already been established, let’s first consider the truth in this regard. Yahowah’s one and only Covenant has not yet been renewed. And when He, Himself, restores it, that affirmation will be predicated upon the wholesale integration of the Torah in our lives – not its repudiation.

Since there is nothing more foundational to knowing God than understanding His Covenant and the role His Torah plays in our lives, let’s let God speak for Himself on this critical matter. For if there is but one Covenant, one familial relationship which can be formed between God and humankind, presented and promised in Scripture, and if its renewal and restoration is predicated upon the Towrah, we are precluded from promoting the myth of a "New Testament." So in this regard, Yah, Himself, said...

"Behold (hineh – look, listen, and pay close attention to what follows), days (yowmym – times) are coming (bow’ – will arrive and will return), prophetically declares (na’um – foretells, predicts, and reveals) Yahowah (efei - hwhy – Yahowah), when (wa) I will cut (karat – I will create, completely establishing and totally stipulating, I will actually make by way of separation (qal stem affirms reality and perfect conjugation speaks of an act which is total, complete, and indivisible)) relationally with (‘eth – as an eternal symbol on behalf of) the household and family (beyth – the home) of Yisra’el (yisra’el – those who strive and contend with, engage, persist, and endure with, are set free and are empowered by God) and relationally with (wa ‘eth – as an eternal symbol on behalf of) the household and family (beyth – the home) of Yahuwdah (Yahuwdah – Yah is Abundantly Sufficient, Of Yah, From Yah, and Those Who Are Related to Yah) a renewing and restoring (chadash – a repairing, and reaffirming) Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship (beryth – nurturing and engaged relational agreement established on the foundation of beyth – family and home, a mutually binding partnership promise, solemn oath, and active alliance, and a participatory pledge based upon a marriage vow which fosters and encourages)." (Yirmayahuw / Yahowah Uplifts / Jeremiah 31:31)

The part of this verse which Christians, desperate to justify their "New Testament," miss, is that the renewal and restoration of the "beryth – Covenant" isn’t with Gentiles, and thus cannot be with their church. It is, instead, with Yahuwdah and Yisra’el. This promise, therefore, cannot apply to Christians or Christianity. Replacement theology is torn asunder. It’s game over. And further aggravating the problem Christians face, this reconciliation has not yet transpired, therefore a "Renewed" Covenant is premature and a "New" Testament will never occur.

As a result, the only question worth debating in this passage is whether chadash should be translated "new" or "renewed," as both are etymologically acceptable. Is God going to renew and restore, reaffirm and repair, the Covenant presented in the Towrah with Yisra’el and Yahuwdah, or is He going to scrap the Towrah’s definition of this relationship and create an entirely new agreement?

To put this question to rest, you should know that the primary meaning of chadash is "to renew, to restore, to repair, and to reaffirm." Of the ten times this verb is scribed in the Towrah, Prophets, and Psalms, it is translated: "restore and reaffirm" in 1 Samuel 11:14, "renewed and repaired" in 2 Chronicles 15:8, "to repair" in 2 Chronicles 24:4, "to repair and mend" in 2 Chronicles 24:12, "renewed" in Job 10:7, "renew" in Psalms 51:12, "renewed" in Psalms 103:5, again as "renewed" in Psalms 104:30, "repair" in Isaiah 61:4, and "renew and restore" in Lamentations 5:21.

As further affirmation of "renewed and restored" being an appropriate translation of chadash in this context, we find that within the prophetic writings of Yirmayah and Yasha’yah, each time Yahowah inspired either man to scribe chadash, by rendering it "renewed," or especially "restored," we achieve a substantially more enlightening result than translating this word "new."

These things known, the next line seems to suggest that there will be a new covenant, one different than the one whose terms and conditions were delineated in the Towrah. But is this even possible? Could God do such a thing without seriously contradicting other statements He has made, and in so doing, rendering Himself capricious, and His Word unreliable?

"It will not be exactly the same as (lo’ ka – it will not be identical to) the (ha) Covenant (beryth – familial relationship, marriage vow, binding agreement, and pledge) which relationally (‘asher) I cut (karat – created through separation) with (‘et) their fathers (‘abowtam) in the day, when (ba yowm) firmly grasping Me (hazaq – I repaired, renewed, and restored them, I established, sustained and supported them, I caused them to prevail and grow, as they were strengthened and encouraged by My power and authority) in their hand (ba yad – by them taking initiative, engaging, and reaching out), I led them out (yasa’ – I descended, extended Myself, and I served them by guiding them away) from (min) the realm (‘erets) of the crucible of Egypt (mitsraym – a metaphor for human religious, political, economic, and military oppression and divine judgment), which relationally (‘asher) they broke, disassociating themselves (parar – they violated and nullified, they frustrated, tore apart, and shattered, and they split away) from (‘eth) My Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship (beryth – My nurturing and engaged relational agreement established on the foundation of beyth – family and home, My mutually binding partnership promise, My solemn oath and active alliance, and My participatory pledge based upon a marriage vow which fosters and encourages), though (wa) I (‘anky) was married to them (ba ba’al hem – I was their husband), prophetically declares (na’um) Yahowah (efei - hwhy- יהוהYahowah)." (Yirmayahuw / Jeremiah 31:32)

This affirms that the original Covenant was honored by God when He "hazaq – reached out to His people and when He grasped hold of them to renew and restore them," "yasa’ min – leading them away from" "mitsraym – the crucible of religious and political oppression and divine judgment." But, now, since Yisra’el and Yahuwdah subsequently "parar ‘eth beryth – broke their end of the agreement, and disassociated themselves from the relationship, the "beryth – Covenant Agreement" must be "chadash – reaffirmed, repaired, renewed and restored" to be viable again.

The question now becomes: how is God going to do this without contradicting Himself? And what we find is a solution which is not only marvelous in its implications, but also one which completely destroys the Christian religion generally and Paul’s testimony specifically. Yahowah said:

"Indeed (ky – surely and truly) with this (ha zo’th – in conjunction with these conditions and provisions the) Familial Covenant Relationship (beryth – reciprocal partnership, active alliance, and engaged agreement, mutually binding and nurturing promise, solemn oath and participatory pledge, based upon a marriage vow) which relationally (‘asher) I will cut (karat – I will create and establish through separation) with (‘eth – and alongside) the House (beyth – household and family) of Yisra’el (yisra’el – those who strive and contend with, who engage, persist, and endure with, who are set free and are empowered by God) after (‘ahar – following) those days (ha yowm hem – that time), prophetically declares (na’um – predicts and promises) Yahowah (efei - hwhy), I will actually give My Towrah, completely providing and producing My Teaching and Instruction (natan ‘eth Towrah – I will reliably bestow and totally devote My Direction and My Guidance as a gift, putting it (here the qal stem affirms that this will actually occur and the perfect conjugation tells us that the gift of the Towrah will be whole and complete, indivisible and uninterruptible throughout time)) within their inner nature (ba qereb – internally, inside their person, within their core and midst, becoming part of their psychological makeup, thoughts, and emotions).

And (wa) upon (‘al as the Almighty concerning) their heart (leb – speaking of their source of life, and the seat of love, volition, feelings, attitude, and character), I will actually write it (katab – I will genuinely engrave and inscribe it (written in the qal relational stem, telling us that we can rely upon this occurring, and in the imperfect conjugation, affirming that it will produce ongoing results throughout time, with the first person singular prefix, saying that God, Himself, will be doing the writing, and with the third person feminine singular suffix, telling us that it is the Towrah, which is a feminine noun, which will be inscribed)).

And (wa) I shall be (hayah – I will always, reliably, and without interruption or exception be (qal stem perfect conjugation)) God (‘elohym) to and for them (la la), and (wa) they (hem), themselves, shall be (hayah – they will always and reliably exist, eternally receiving the complete benefits of (qal relational stem affirming the genuineness of this promise, and imperfect conjugation which tells us that there will be ongoing and unfolding assistance and advantages associated with being considered)) to and for Me as (la la) family (‘am)." (Yirmayahuw / Jeremiah 31:33)

With this statement, the basis of Christianity and the fulcrum of Paul’s argument disintegrate. It would be irrational for Yahowah to establish His Towrah, then annul His Towrah, replacing it with a "New Testament," only to go right back to His Towrah. So if you are a Christian, now would be a good time to wave goodbye to Paul and to your faith. It was over long before it began.

The insights provided by the depth of meaning inherent in each of these words and unique relational aspects of Hebrew tenses require greater diligence on our behalf, but they are worth the investment of our time, especially in passages like this one. It wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest that the affirmations they provide regarding the unfolding and continuous results we can expect from God giving His Torah to us, placing His Instructions inside of us, are as essential to our inclusion in God’s Covenant Family as anything ever written.

For example, by interspersing three references to the "beyth – house, family, and home" of "yisra’el – those individuals who engage and endure with God," with four references to His "beryth – Covenant," Yahowah has defined the nature of the relationship He wants to establish with us. That is because this "beryth – relationship" is based on a "beyth – family and home." Yahowah is our Heavenly Father. The Set-Apart Spirit is our Spiritual Mother. And we are God’s children. Our purpose is to "engage and endure with God" as part of His "‘am – family."

Everything important to Yahowah is separated and thus set apart. This is why the Covenant was "karat – cut through the process of separation." Most people will be excluded from Yahowah’s family, because to be included a person must first separate themselves from the world of religion and politics. This concept of "cutting" and "separating" is conveyed through circumcision, which is why God calls it the "sign of the Covenant."

In the "Towrah – Teaching" Volume of An Introduction to God, readers discovered that Towrah is Yah’s: "tow (Strong’s #8420) – signed, written, and enduring, towrah (8452) – way of treating people, tuwr (8446) – giving us the means to explore, to seek, to find, and to choose, yarah (3384) – the source from which instruction, teaching, guidance, and direction flow, which tuwb (8421) – provides answers which facilitate our restoration and return, even our response and reply to that which is towb (2895) – good, pleasing, joyful, beneficial, favorable, healing, and right, and that which causes us to be loved, to become acceptable, and to endure, tahowr (2892) and tohorah (2893) – purifying and cleansing us, towr (8447) – so as to provide an opportunity to change our thinking, attitude, and direction." As such, there is no more important document.

With regard to the next insightful term, qereb (קֶרֶב) is a noun which depicts the "inner part or inward nature of an individual." As such, it speaks to our "thoughts and emotions," which is where Yahowah’s Towrah will be placed. Like most nouns, qereb’s meaning is derived from its verb form, qarab (קָרַב), which is pointed differently, but spelled identically. Qarab means "to approach and to come near, to draw near and to enter the presence." Qarab is the operative verb in Yahowah’s presentation of the "Mow’ed Miqra’ – Invitations to Meet" on "Yowm Kippurym – the Day of Reconciliations," whereby we are invited to "qarab – come near and approach, coming into the presence of" our Spiritual Mother’s light. This connection provides an essential clue when it comes to understanding the sweeping panorama painted in this prophetic passage.

Leb, which is the Hebrew word for "heart," conveys many of the same ideas as its counterpart does in English. We say that someone has a good heart, to infer that they are of good character. We say that our heart belongs to someone to infer that we love them. We speak of the heart of a matter to describe its very essence. We say that in our heart we feel a certain way to infer that we have exercised our volition and have made a choice. Our heart is used to describe our attitude, and it is the organ whose beats we monitor to determine if someone is alive or dead. And so it is, especially in this context, that we must read "leb – heart" to say all of these things, if we want to understand why Yahowah is writing His Torah upon that which makes us who we are.

The end of this passage deploys parallel poetry to explain the reason God is going to restore and renew His relationship with His Children by giving us His Torah, placing it inside of us, and writing it upon our hearts. Stripping these words to their core, God wrote: "hayah la la ‘elohym – hayah la la ‘am." In English, this reads: "I shall be (hayah) God (‘elohym) to and for them (la la), and (wa) they (hem), themselves, shall be (hayah) to and for Me (la la) family (‘am)."

With the verb tenses more fully developed, God revealed: "I shall be (hayah – I will always, reliably, and without interruption or exception be (qal stem perfect conjugation)) God (‘elohym) to and for them (la la), and (wa) they (hem), themselves, shall be (hayah – they will always and reliably exist, eternally receiving the complete benefits of (qal relational stem affirming the genuineness of this promise, and imperfect conjugation which tells us that there will be ongoing and unfolding assistance and advantages associated with being considered)) to and for Me as (la la) family (‘am)."

This is wholly reciprocal on multiple levels. Those who consider Yahowah to be their God will be considered family by God. Yahowah will serve as God for those who consider Him to be God. Further, while existing as part of Yahowah’s family is a benefit for us, it is presented here as a benefit to and for God as well. Building a family, engaging with His children and helping us grow, is the sole reason our Heavenly Father created the universe. His family brings Him pleasure and causes Him to grow.

When Hebrew words are repeated, as they are here on two occasions with la la, it strengthens their meaning exponentially. Typically, la serves as a prepositional prefix, and conveys "to" and "for." It speaks of "approaching someone," of "moving toward a goal," and of "doing something in order to achieve an expected result." In addition to these thoughts, la can be translated: "toward, among, so that, by means of, concerning, on behalf of, and according to." La "draws a connection between correspondence (the Torah) and a relationship (the Covenant)." And in actuality, every aspect of la fits this context.

So now that we understand the meaning of these words, what do all of these words mean? To begin, the Covenant Relationship and Yahowah’s Torah Teachings are inseparable. Without the Torah, the Covenant is completely unknown, as are its terms and conditions, rendering it impossible for anyone to participate in a relationship with God. But, and this is the biggest "but" in the universe, it currently remains possible for us to separate ourselves from the Torah, and therefore from its Covenant. In fact, God structured it this way by design.

You see, we were created with "nadah – freewill," which is "an uncompelled opportunity to move in the direction of our choosing:" to God or away from Him, to observe or ignore His Torah, to accept or reject His Covenant, to revere or fear our Heavenly Father, to love or despise Yahowah. And this is why we find that the first two of seven men listed, who along with Moseh, received the Torah on Mount Horeb, bore names directly associated with freewill: ‘Aharown – enlightened freewill from ‘aw – to desire, ‘ow – to choose and to prefer, and ‘owr – light and enlightenment, and Nadab – one who willingly, freely, and of his own volition, chooses, from nadah.

Since thoughtless volition is nothing more than an exercise in random chance, we were also given a "nesamah – conscience." It enables us to rationally, logically, thoughtfully, morally, and judgmentally evaluate the evidence God has provided in His Torah, thereby facilitating wise decisions.

And while this has been the state of affairs throughout the millennia, that is about to change. A time is coming when everybody who survives Yahowah’s return will have chosen to live in harmony with the Torah and its Covenant. Therefore, the only thing which differentiates the existing Covenant relationship from its reaffirmation and restoration is the future is that the choice to reject Yah’s Covenant and Towrah is no longer applicable.

Our current mortal existence affords us the opportunity to choose God based upon His terms and conditions or reject Him and them. Our immortal existence is predicated upon having made the choice to accept the Covenant in accordance with the Torah. But there is a day on our horizon in which the last person will make their decision—that being Yowm Kippurym during Armageddon.

God could have avoided religious competition long ago, and mankind’s woes would have been nonexistent. But this could not have occurred without a consequence so severe, it would have negated the very purpose of our very existence.

The reason Yahowah hasn’t yet placed His Towrah inside of us, nor written His instructions on our hearts, is because freewill is sacrosanct. Today, everyone has the ability to choose to know, to love, and to trust God, to ignore God, to reject Him, or to replace Him with a divinity of man’s making. If the Torah had been mandated, had it been unrivaled, had it been incorporated into our personalities, there would have been no possible way for any religious alternative to have emerged. And without options, there would have been no choice. Without choice, loving relationships cannot exist. Therefore, while the Family-Oriented Covenant Relationship and Yahowah’s Towrah Teachings have been inseparable, it remains possible for us to separate ourselves from them.

This option, which is the choice to reject Yahowah’s instructions and to disassociate from Him, has to end for eternal life with God to begin. So once all who will choose to know and respect Yahowah have decided to do so, once all who remain alive on this planet are part of Yahowah’s family, there is no need for the bane or pain of religion. And yet, even once everyone has been adopted by Him, even when we have all become eternal and are empowered and enriched by our Heavenly Father, then, more than ever, we will still need His Guidance. The universe becomes ours, as does all of God’s power and authority. So, it will be especially important that we understand how to exercise these gifts and wield our power. By giving us His "towrah - guidance," by placing all of it within us, by writing it upon our hearts, we will be equipped with the knowledge we will require to exercise our newfound freedom appropriately. And that is wonderful, landscape changing, news. It explains how we will retain freewill throughout eternity, and yet keep from doing something foolish.

Therefore, this explains what will occur upon Yahowah’s return during "Yowm Kippurym – the Day of Reconciliations" at the end of the Tribulation. It illustrates how God will fulfill His Torah promise to reconcile His relationship with Yisra’el and with Yahuwdym. And it tells us when the Covenant will be renewed, because that is the only day in all of human history in which this transformation, this restoration, can occur without conflicting with God’s previous testimony.

This passage also affirms the role of the Torah in our salvation, because it associates the Torah and Covenant with us being included in God’s family. And reading between the lines, it reveals how Yahowah’s Torah will continue to guide us during the Millennial Sabbath and beyond into eternity. It even explains that the purpose of the Covenant is to establish God’s family, so that we can live with our Heavenly Father as His children.

And yet, with all of these affirmations, it is astonishing that Christians routinely mistranslate this passage, truncate it, and remove it from its context, to justify Paul’s proclamation of a "new covenant," one based upon faith, one unrelated to the Torah or its God. I dare say, the Christian misinterpretation of this passage ranks among the most debilitating crimes ever perpetrated in the name of religion.

Speaking of this and other crimes, Yahowah revealed the benefit of making His Torah our undisputed and unrivaled instruction manual: "And (wa) they will not teach or learn (lo’ lamad – they will not be trained in nor indoctrinate, instruct or respond to) man’s (‘iysh – mankind’s and individual people’s) errant pronouncements, thoughts, thinking, or reasoning (ra’ – evil ways and improper principles, bad judgment, false pretenses, and regrettable communications) any longer (‘owd – ever again), or mankind’s (‘iysh) despondency and grief (‘ah – his tale of woe) claiming (‘amar – saying, boasting, and declaring) to actually know (da’at – to be acquainted with and be aware of the evidence regarding) Yahowah (efei - hwhy). Because then, indeed (ky – rather surely and truthfully at that time), they all (kol) will actually know and recognize Me (yada’ ‘owty – they will be familiar with, be aware of, respect, revere, and acknowledge Me, and they will be known to Me), from (min) the smallest, youngest, and least significant (qatan) up to (‘ad) the biggest, oldest, and most influential (gadowl), prophetically declares (na’um – predicts and promises) Yahowah (efei - hwhy). For indeed, then (ky), I will have forgiven (salah – will have pardoned and removed) their sin (‘awon – their guilt, liability, and consequence of perversity) and accordingly (wa la) their offenses against the standard (hata’th – their sinfulness and wrongdoing, their propensity and history of missing the way) will not (lo’) be remembered (zakar – recalled or mentioned) any longer (‘owd – now or ever again)." (Yirmayahuw / Jeremiah 31:34)

Should you be mentally jumping ahead in time to the Day of Reconciliations (Yowm Kippurym in the year 6000 Yah, which will commence at sunset on October 2, 2033), and be wondering about the state of freewill after we bear Yah’s Torah and Signature, it will endure, but within a framework which will allow us to enjoy our Heavenly Father’s company and explore the universe without doing damage to ourselves or it. By this time the only souls alive will be those who have previously chosen to rely upon and love Yah, making the freedom to reject, counterfeit, or loathe Him moot.

As a result of this announcement from God, it would be misguided to refer to the Greek eyewitness accounts as the "Renewed Covenant," much less the "New Testament." The Covenant has not yet been "renewed." There will never be a "new" one. And since it is His Word, I think it’s reasonable to use His instructions in this regard.

Before we return to Paul’s twisted repudiation of Yahowah’s Covenant so that he can create a second covenant of his own, let’s see if we can learn something additional about Yahowah’s most important title by observing it in the language of revelation. The first letter of "beryth – Covenant" is Beyt b, which is contracted from beyth, the Hebrew word for "family and home." This letter was drawn depicting the floor plan of a home with a single entrance. And, as such, it conveyed the idea of providing a singular solution to sheltering and protecting a family.

The second letter, Rosh r, which was originally pronounced "Resh," was drawn to reveal the head of a person. As does the word re’sh today, the Ancient-Hebrew character was symbolic of being the first, best, and foremost, as well as leadership and birth. We are therefore born into the first and foremost family. The human head also focuses our attention on our eyes and ears as means to observe and listen, and our brains as the means to understand.

Turning to the third letter, we find a Yad i, today’s Yowd, pictured by way of an arm reaching down and out to us with an open hand. It conveyed the ideas of authority and power, as well as engaging productively to accomplish something. As the first letter in Yah’s name, it reveals His willingness to reach out to us and lift us up.

The final character in beryth is either a Theth u or Taw t, as these letters were originally one. If Theth, the pictograph was of a woven container, which was used to communicate the idea of being surrounded and enclosed, as well as being transported from one place to another. And if Taw, the character was drawn as an upright pole with a horizontal beam. It spoke of a doorway, of foundational support, and of a sign and a signature – particularly in its Paleo Hebrew form: t.

Bringing all of these images together, the picture they paint of the "beryth – Covenant," is of a singular doorway into the protected and sheltered home of first and foremost family, and of God reaching out to those of us who observe and listen to His testimony, to His signed invitation.